Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toxic plants in the garden

Spring is just around the corner & soon it will be time to start thinking about pruning & replacing the plants in our gardens that didn’t survive the winter. We’ve talked about the importance of using Native Plants in the garden & how some plants are edible, but did you know that many common garden & water garden plants are toxic? Some of these commonly used plant species can be harmful to our pets as well as to humans. House plants can also be dangerous. Toxic houseplants include elephant ear, philodendrons, English Ivy, Amaryllis & the peace lily to name a few. Remember if they are toxic to us or our pets they will also be toxic to our Koi. Plants that are not toxic to humans may still be a problem for your pond fish. The seeds of most plants will swell in the pond & if your Koi eat the seeds they could plug up the digestive tract. Don’t panic, you don’t have to start ripping plants out of your yard & pond. If you have children or pets you could transplant these plants to an area out of reach. Of course, it’s also important to keep an eye on small children & curious pets while they are in your garden. As for the pond, all you need to do is make sure the toxic plants are out of reach from the Koi. Before you make your wish list of new plants for your garden you may want to consider the list below. These are just a few of the more common toxic garden plants, some of which you will recognize as pond plants. Keep in mind this is just a partial list using common names & the part of the plant that is known to be toxic.

Plant    Part                          Plant     Part

Amaryllis: bulbs                       Black Locust Bark: sprouts, foliage

Bird of Paradise: seeds        Buttercup: sap, leaves

Baneberry berries, roots       Cherry: bark, twigs, leaves & pits

Calla Lily: leaves                    Coral plant; seeds

Daffodil: bulbs                        Eggplant: everything but the fruit itself

English Ivy: berries                 Elephant Ears: leaves, stem

Foxglove: leaves, seeds       Hemlock: all parts

Hyacinth: bulbs                       Iris: bulbs

Jasamine: berries                 Java Bean: uncooked bean

Lantana: immature berries   Laurel: all parts

Locoweed: all parts              Mistletoe: berries

Mock orange: fruit                 Morning Glories: all parts

Oak: acorns, foliage             Pine: sap

Poinsettia leaves, flowers     Potato eyes, new roots

Redwood sap                        Rhubarb: leaves

Snapdragon: all parts            Tiger lily: all parts

Tomato: leaves                      Tulip: bulbs


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